The ACWA Board of Directors, its officers and members would like to welcome you to the online home of the American Chuck Wagon Association, a 501.c.3 organization.
The American Chuck Wagon Association started out as a small group of Old West enthusiasts and has expanded to world wide association preserving the American past through competitions, demonstrations, charity and school events and other venues.
Our work is funded by sponsorships (see the power point presentation shown below-right); tax-free donations, honorariums and memorials
(We are a 501.c.3 organization);
cookbook, note card, t-shirt & cap sales in our General Store (go shopping), as well as membership dues.
For donations, honorariums and memorials, you may send a check to:
ACWA, 1723 East Tate Street, Brownfield, TX 79316 or call Nancy Sparks at (806)215-7851 with credit card information. For Honorariums and Memorials, please include the name of the person remembered/honored, and address for a thank you card.
Our youth are our future and the ACWA supports activities directly involving them. We encourage producers to offer youth
competition at their cook offs whenever possible. Many of our cooking crews include young people at the cook offs.
The Association also periodically honors an outstanding young cook with the Rookie of the Year award.
In addition, the ACWA offers scholarships (read more) to selected individuals each year. If interested, download an application here. Scholarship recipients for the upcoming school year are Caleb Swanson from Canton, SD, and Chelsea Carter from Prairie Hill, TX. One of our recipients recently sent an update you may read here.
Another way to involve and educate our youth is with demonstrations. At one cook off, invitations were given to area schools to come on Friday. There were busloads coming and going a good portion of the day. The students were wonderful and the three host wagons enjoyed sharing their camps and telling a little about the history of the chuck wagon and the trail drives.
Want to take home some of that authentic, Old West taste and style? Now you can with ACWA Cookbooks, beautiful note cards and caps!
Many of our members offer catering services. Check out the link above to contact one of them about bringing some of the finest chuck wagon cooking to your next event.
It's amazing that January 2017 is over. Maribeth and I really enjoyed the last five days of January in Cabo San Lucas while there for a nephew's wedding. We sure needed the break! I'm beginning to believe I will not have any problem with retirement starting August 1st.
Well there has been a lot going on within ACWA concerning the planning for the first ACWA Championship Cook Off March 30 - April 1, 2017. Probably the biggest news is the changing of our location from the Former Texas Rangers Heritage Center and Fort Martin Scott to the Gillespie County Fairgrounds. It just seemed with the other location we kept running into issues making it hard to get the wagons in/out, not having a good location to seat the attendees while eating, and most of all not having enough parking spaces to handle a large crowd.
The new location at the Gillespie County Fairground eliminates all of these issues as it has parking for 4000, a large Exhibit Hall which will seat 1000 at tables with chairs, and be heated if necessary. The area where the 16 qualified wagons from Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas will set up in a semicircle is flat and level allowing easy access for unloading and loading. All the area is secure and within easy walking distance to the Exhibit Hall. There are plenty of restrooms inside the Exhibit Hall which means not having to rent or use porta cans.
Across from the competing wagons there will be two chuck wagon camps set up for display with volunteers on hand to explain the chuck wagon and camp setup. Hopefully this will reduce interruptions to the cooking teams while they are cooking. Also there will be exhibitors displaying their crafts along with a tent set up for the sale of ACWA merchandise and Ticket Will Call.
There are a limited number of tickets so hopefully you have gone to the ACWA website under the General Store tab and purchased your tickets! Also if you plan on making room reservations, I encourage you to get your rooms booked soon because there are two other large events and three smaller events in Fredericksburg on the same weekend. Once the rooms are gone it will be hard to find other rooms! So don't wait....go online and purchase your tickets and make your room reservations today!
Once again, the schedule for the ACWA Championship Cook Off is as follows:
Thursday March 30 - 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM - Youth education demonstrations by the Texas Parks and Wildlife's Buffalo Soldiers and 9 other stations depicting the chuck wagon era for approximately 250 4th graders from Fredericksburg ISD and Hunt ISD. Chuck wagon teams move in and setup.
Friday March 31 - 8:00 AM - Chuck wagon judging starts, 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM - Youth Cook Off for up to 36 area youth. 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM - Chuck wagon teams, youth cook off participants and volunteer appreciation dinner in the Exhibit Hall.
Saturday April 1 - 10:00 AM - Vendors, Texas Parks and Wildlife's Buffalo Soldiers, chuck wagon displays and chuck wagon teams cooking for competition with the meal being served at 12:15 PM. 4:00 PM Awards ceremony in the Exhibit Hall.
As we start 2017 there are five Sanctioned Cook Offs scheduled for you to qualify for the 2018 ACWA Championship Cook Off.
Lazy E Arena - Guthrie OK - March 3-4
Wild West Fest - Andrews TX - April 21-22
Bob Drake Memorial CW Cook Off - Breckenridge TX - May 5-6
A Painted View Cook Off - Westcliffe CO - August 19
Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook Off - Chandler, AZ - November 10-11
Don't forget Wagon for Warriors, May 26-27, 2017 in Lebanon, MO. In talking with Steve Hull, his goal is to have at least 35 wagons this year. Let's all pull together to help Steve meet or exceed this goal. Wagons for Warriors raises money to help wounded veterans and their families during their rehabilitation and recovery. Anyone who owns a chuck wagon needs to get involved as a way to say "THANK YOU" to those who have served our country. For more information on this event you can contact Steve Hull at www.stillhangin.com or www.wagonsforwarriors.com.
Last, but certainly not least it is approaching the time of the year to submit names to Brian Frankum, Chairman of the Education, Youth and Scholarship committee for consideration for the two ACWA college scholarships. Two years ago there was only one name submitted and last year there were only two names submitted. Come on folks, we need to make Brian and his committee work harder! Let's see if we can get 8 -10 names submitted for the two scholarships!
Until next time, Happy Trails!
In 1996 at a chuck wagon competition in Amarillo, Texas, a small group of Old West enthusiasts and wagon masters talked about an
association. The mission would be to preserve the heritage of the chuck wagon and its use in the short, but significant, era of the cattle
drives. In 1997, in Bryson, Texas, by-laws and articles of operationwere adopted and the American Chuck Wagon Association was off and
running. Today there are members in 31 states, Canada, Germany and France.
In 2016, the original mission statement was revised and Sanctioning was approved. The revised mission statement reads as follows:
The mission statement of the American Chuck Wagon Association is to preserve the history of the Chuck Wagon Era by providing educational opportunities and events to diverse audiences of all ages while continuing to provide youth scholarships and support for wounded warriors.